Citation Styles For Kenyan Universities

In this article, we’ll take a look at the different parts a referencing style consists of and some of the different citation styles or systems of referencing for Kenyan universities that we can use.

Another word for reference is source reference or bibliographic citation. A reference helps your readers to accurately identify the original source that you’ve used in your text and the way in which we refer has evolved over hundreds of years.

A long time ago, for example, an incorrect reference could result in a monk writing for several weeks, finally arriving at the goal of his journey, only to find out that the place of publication written in the reference was wrong. Of course, this was long before mobile phones and the Internet, but an inadequate reference can still have disastrous consequences even nowadays. Take the example of Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, Germany’s former Minister of Defense, who in 2011, lost his Doctor’s degree and all his political commitments due to the fact that he had copied major parts of his doctoral thesis. Subsequently, he became known as Google-berg.

For your references to be correct and understandable, several parts need to be included. Obviously, the title of the work you’re referencing needs to be there as well as the author. And if we look at books, for example, we notice these can come in different editions. Sometimes revisions, adaptations or changes have taken place between these different editions. This is why you need to include the year of publication and edition number of your reference, so your reader knows exactly which source you’ve used. The same goes for a book’s publisher and place of publication because these factors can affect the way a book looks. Imagine someone has another edition of the same book. The page numbering might be different and that will make your source even harder to find.

So, how do you refer to different sources? When your source is a book, you need to include the title, as we saw earlier, the author, the year of publication, the publisher, and the place of publication. But if the work you used is a chapter in an anthology with different parts written by different authors, you need to give the title of the anthology, as well as the title of the chapter that you used. The same goes for the authors and the editors, who are the people putting together the different chapters in the book. The names of both authors and editors need to be in your reference.

Now let’s take a look at articles in scientific journals. We see several similarities with the contributions in an anthology. You need to include the title of the article, its authors and the year the article was published. But your reader also needs to know the journal in which the article was published, the volume and the issue number. These numbers make it easier to discern where exactly the article can be found because a journal can publish several issues per year, and it may have published one volume per year since the 1800s for example. Also, you need to give the page numbers of the article you’ve used. And, if you took the article from the Internet, you often need to include the web address and the date you accessed the article. Web addresses are however not always constant and because of this, and because of the fact that articles may be locked into a database that needs a login, something called DOI was created. It means digital object identifier and is an article’s unique code on the web. Now, this code is stable, it does not change over time.

There are many different sources you might need to refer to when writing your Kenyan academic paper. Besides the forms we’ve already looked at, they may for example also include newspapers, or blogs, or reports from authorities or conferences. There are rules for how you need to refer to these different types of materials. Exactly what these differences will look like depends on what reference system you use. This leads us to the question, why are there different reference systems?

Well, as we saw in the beginning of this article in different contexts we have been referring to sources since a long time ago. Several established ways to write references has emerged with different outputs. The references look different in these systems due to the fact that these reference systems were developed at different universities or to meet different needs. The main difference between different ways of referencing is whether you use parentheses in the text you write or footnotes. The most well known parenthetical reference systems are Harvard and APA, developed at Harvard University and the American Psychological Association, respectively.

In your text, you put the author’s name and the year of publication in parentheses when referencing your source. Your reader then knows that there’s a description of this particular reference in your reference list, which is a list of all the sources that we used, usually at the end of a text. The Harvard System was developed mainly by biologists, but it has, later on, become big within humanities and social sciences. APA was originally developed by a psychologist but is also widely used in social, behavioural, and health sciences. Now, the Oxford and Vancouver systems are based on notes. This means that a reference in the text is given as an elevated number or a number in parenthesis or brackets, but is explained on the bottom of the page or in the end of the chapter or text. The Oxford reference system was developed by Horace Hart who worked for Oxford University Press in the late 1800s. This is probably why most printers and publishers choose this system. Vancouver, on the other hand, was developed by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors at their first meeting in Vancouver. Nowadays, the Vancouver reference system is mostly used in medical sciences.

Which of these reference systems you need to use when writing your academic text depends on what discipline you write in, and the context in which your text will be read also plays an important role. Some universities and supervisors prefer one system, whereas journals may prefer another one. Therefore, you should always check what applies to you before you start writing your references. But regardless of what system you use, the different parts making up the references are always the same. And they are there to help you redefine the source that you used.

Should you need assistance in referencing your work, call us. We are experienced in all Kenyan University referencing styles.  These include:

  • University of Nairobi Nairobi referencing style/format
  • Moi University referencing style/format
  • Kenyatta University referencing style/format
  • Egerton University referencing style/format
  • Maseno University referencing style/format
  • Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology referencing style/format
  • Technical University of Mombasa referencing style/format
  • Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology referencing style/format
  • Dedan Kimathi University of Technology referencing style/format
  • Laikipia University referencing style/format
  • South Eastern Kenya University referencing style/format
  • Multimedia University of Kenya referencing style/format
  • University of Kabianga referencing style/format
  • Karatina University referencing style/format
  • Meru University of Science and Technology referencing style/format
  • Kirinyaga University referencing style/format
  • Murang’a University of Technology referencing style/format
  • Machakos University referencing style/format
  • Adventist University of Africa referencing style/format
  • Africa International University referencing style/format
  • Africa Nazarene University referencing style/format
  • Daystar University referencing style/format
  • East Africa School of Theology referencing style/format
  • Embu University College referencing style/format
  • Genco University referencing style/format
  • Great Lakes University of Kisumu referencing style/format
  • Gretsa University referencing style/format
  • International Leadership University referencing style/format
  • International University of Professional Studies referencing style/format
  • Kabarak University referencing style/format
  • KAG East University referencing style/format
  • KCA University referencing style/format
  • Kenya Highlands Evangelical University referencing style/format
  • Kenya Methodist University referencing style/format
  • Kiriri Women’s University of Science And Technology referencing style/format
  • Lukenya University referencing style/format
  • Mount Kenya University referencing style/format
  • Pan Africa Christian (PAC) University referencing style/format
  • Pioneer International University referencing style/format
  • Riara University referencing style/format
  • Scott Christian University referencing style/format
  • Paul’s University referencing style/format
  • Strathmore University referencing style/format
  • The Catholic University of Eastern Africa referencing style/format
  • The East African University referencing style/format
  • The Management University of Africa referencing style/format
  • The Presbyterian University of East Africa referencing style/format
  • Umma University referencing style/format
  • United States International University referencing style/format
  • University of Eastern Africa Baraton referencing style/format and
  • Zetech University referencing style/format